Recent children’s book deals & reviews: monsters, virtual realities and nonfiction

Following Bologna Book Fair, year’s main event of children’s books’ rights, we’re very glad to announce new deals for our fantastic children’s books.

In Russia, the Monster Nanny series by Tuutikki Tolonen and Pasi Pitkänen has been sold to Rosman at auction. Rosman is one of the biggest Russian publishers, whose list includes for example J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, and many more. Monster Nanny, “the monstrous Mary Poppins”, is a universally charming award-winning story, which is to be developed into a Hollywood feature film by Scott Free Productions and published in 22 languages.

Request reading materials for Monster Nanny here!

Another Russian deal was struck for What Is the Night and What Is Water, the bedtime books of fictional and factual stories for information-hungry kids and adults. KompasGuide, the Moscow-based publishing house founded in 2008, whose authors include names such as Michael Ende and Christine Nöstlinger, acquired the rights to both of the children’s nonfiction books.

“We do hope our Russian audience will enjoy and adore the aesthetics of these books and like the illustrations of the magnificent Finnish artists. We are really proud to start our collaboration with these titles,” said Igor Grizhuk, Foreign Rights Manager of KompasGuide Publishing House.

Request reading materials for What Is the Night & What Is Water here!

Another hot title in Bologna from our YA list was Beta, the first book in the Sensored Reality trilogy by Aki Parhamaa and Anders Vacklin. See here for a trailer video for the book (with over 22,000 views!):

The novel has also received praising reviews from literature bloggers:

“Quite an excellent start for a trilogy! A compelling story, a good plot, an imaginative and credible milieu, well-described places and events and well-written characters carry the story smoothly and naturally.” – Teatterinna blog

“The book stands out in the Finnish dystopia book scene, I’m eagerly looking forward to the next part in the series.” –Literature Is Pink blog

Request reading materials for Beta here!

At the Bologna Book Fair, Elina Ahlbäck was also interviewed for the magazine Publishers Weekly Bologna Show Daily, and the piece was published under the title “Can Finnish Children’s Literature Become a Worldwide Phenomenon?”: click the link to read the article on pages 24-26. (The answer, by the way, is yes!)

Rights sold: Monster Nanny
Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
BOSNIA, Šahinpašić
BRAZIL, DarkSide Books
CHINA, Beijing Children’s Publishing House
ESTONIA, Tiritamm
FRANCE, Editions Robert Laffont
GERMANY, Carl Hanser Verlag
HUNGARY, Tessloff Babilon
ITALY, Salani/Mauri Spagnol
LATVIA, Zvaigzne
NETHERLANDS, Luitingh-Sijthoff
NORWAY, Gyldendal Norsk
ROMANIA, Editura Univers
RUSSIA, Rosman
SLOVENIA, Mladinska knjiga
SPAIN (Spanish), La Galera
SPAIN (Catalan), La Galera
SWEDEN, Rabén & Sjögren
TURKEY, SEV Redhouse Kidz
WORLD ENGLISH, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
FILM RIGHTS, Scott Free Productions

Right sold: Night 
Orig. publisher: FINLAND, Myllylahti
RUSSIA, KompasGuide

Rights sold: Water
Orig. publisher: FINLAND, Myllylahti
RUSSIA, KompasGuide

Rights sold: Beta
Orig. publisher: FINLAND, Tammi

About author

Laura Ertimo

Laura Ertimo is a geographer and author. She has previously worked in publishing of geography-related non-fiction and maps, and now she writes full time, specializing in children’s non-fiction. A recurring theme in her work is the holistic worldview, the interaction between phenomena, people and nature.

In 2020, she received the prestigious Tietopöllö Award for her work as a Non-Fiction writer. Her children's title WHERE DID THE ANIMALS GO, illustrated by Mari Ahokoivu, was nominated for the 2021 Finlandia Award and has also won the Tieto-Lauri award!

About author

Pasi Pitkänen

Pasi Pitkänen has become known for his richly detailed illustrative work on several children’s books such as the extremely popular Monster Nanny trilogy by Tuutikki Tolonen. He has also worked at Rovio Entertainment as an illustrator, character designer, and graphic designer. Pitkänen is the illustrator of the popular Kepler62 series and the author of two Children's titles Monster Tournament and The Island of Lost Animals.

Among Pitkänen’s hobbies are quantum physics, people-watching, B-movies, insects and baking.

About author

Satu Kontinen

Satu Kontinen is a graphic designer and illustrator obsessed with flowers. She is known for her detailed ink works as well as creating quirky creatures and imaginary worlds that spark the imagination of kids and adults alike. She has been awarded for designing and illustrating one of the most beautiful books/book covers in Finland (_Vuoden kaunein kirja_ by the Finnish Book Art Committee) in 2008, 2015, 2016 and in 2018. In 2004 she was nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize and in 2017 she was one of the top 10 finalists in the prestigious Rudolf Koivu illustration awards. In 2020 she was given a Merit Award in the Three x Three International Illustration Awards.

In her free time Satu enjoys designing floral fabrics and writing children's and YA fiction in secrecy. Maybe some day she will show them to a publisher.

About author

Tuutikki Tolonen

Tuutikki Tolonen is the author of several acclaimed children’s books, plays and academic articles. She teaches creative writing and has worked as an editor and reporter at Vinski, a Finnish literary magazine for children. For Monster Nanny she received the Arvid Lydecken award.  Her inspiration for the Monster Nanny trilogy sparked during a family breakfast. “My son Leo, then six, said: ‘I heard on the radio yesterday that all moms have to go on vacation and monsters will take their places,” she says.

Her other bestselling series is the Agnes-series, of which the first book "Agnes and the Garden of Dreams" was in 2021 nominated for the Arvid Lydecken Award, received an honorable mention for the Runeberg Junior Award, and won the Luku Varkaus Award. Tolonen tells that the inspiration for Agnes comes for her interest for weird and inexpicable tales, ghost stories and mysteries: "I wanted to write a book my daughter Aili, then nine, would like to read - not too long, not too scary, but very curious."